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In This Issue
Summer Drop-In Classes
Monthly Restorative
Yoga U Webinar
Avoid Neck and Back Pain at the Computer
Yoga Tip: Supta Padangustasana
Thoughts from Sally
begin June 2nd

 

Check out our offerings on our website or stop by the studio and pick up a schedule. Call (503) 223.8157 with questions.

  

First Wednesday of the month at 6pm

 

We are offering a monthly restorative practice on the first Wed. of the month at 6pm.  

 

The next will be on June 4th; we will take a break for the summer and resume September 3rd.  

 

Pre-registration is required as we have limited space.  

 

Cost is $14.   

 

June 23rd and 30th

 

Key Yoga Muscles: Piriformis and Friends

 

You will learn to strengthen and stretch the deep hip rotators in the buttocks.    

 

 

August 4th - 8th, 2014

in Portland, OR.

 

You will learn to identify structures visually, by palpation and by 'feel', because you have gained the foundation to understanding the anatomy underlying these structures.   

 

Calgary, Canada, July, 11 - 13, 2014.  

 

Salmon Arm, BC/Okanagan,  

July 15 - 16, 2014 


Dublin, Ireland,

Sept. 6 - 7, 2014 


Manchester, England,

Sept. 13 - 14, 2014 


Yoga Journal Conference,
Estes Park, CO

Sept. 19 - 20, 2014 

 

Avoid Neck and Back Pain at the Computer

Dr. David Rempel, professor of occupational medicine at UC San Francisco, on setting up an ergonomically correct workstation 

 

1  Make sure your chair has comfortable back and arm support. Adjust the height so that your feet are flat on the floor, you have legroom to spare, and your eyes line up with the top of your monitor (the screen should be a bit lower if you wear bifocals).

2  Position the screen an arm's length away, avoiding glare from windows and lights. The keyboard should be at elbow height, and the keys easy to press. Use the desk or armrests to support your forearms.

3  Keep the mouse close to the keyboard. For some, a mouse pad may be helpful.

4  Check your posture. Relax the muscles in your forearms, shoulders, and neck by sitting straight up or leaning back in your chair. Stand up and stretch every 20  minutes.

 

 

Gudmestad Yoga

Summer Quarterly Newsletter



Here's a quick body-mind awareness exercise for you: Think of a part of your body that causes some problems for you. Now, do you have words to describe that problematic place? Is there an image that comes to mind?

In my 35 years as a physical therapist, many people have told me how their subconscious may "see" or describe troublesome places in the body. A headache sufferer saw an iron band around her head. Tight hamstrings were described as steel cables. Back pain was caused by a "knife in the back", and women often describe their arms as "wet noodles".

While these may be an honest and accurate portrayal of the owner-of-the-body's perception, images and words like these can actually contribute to the problems. The science of biofeedback has shown that the body takes these descriptions literally, and responds physiologically. If you visualize your hand in a bucket of ice water, the skin temperature in that hand falls. Picturing a constricting band anywhere on your body will reduce blood flow to the area. And repetitively telling yourself that your hamstrings are tight or your arms are weak becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Fortunately, the opposite is also true: If you replace negative images or words with positive images and encouraging words, your body responds accordingly. Of course, an ideal time to bring this concept to life is during your yoga practice, when you are relaxed and can be attentive to images and words you might be repeating to yourself. Picture the tight band releasing, like loosening a tie or restrictive belt, and take a deep, expansive breath. Repeat an encouraging phrase, like "my arms are getting stronger, week by week". And replace the steel bands of hamstrings with an image of stretchy saltwater taffy.

You can put your new-found awareness right into practice with the classic yoga pose Supta Padangustasana. It is simple and relaxing, and affords a perfect opportunity to observe your words and images. If you notice any negatives, replace them promptly with encouraging words and healthy images.

 

As always, if you have any questions, comments or suggestions, feel free to contact us.

 

Namaste,

Julie Gudmestad

Yoga Tip: Supta Padangustasana

Even though most people learn this "hand-to-foot" pose as beginners, it is an excellent leg stretch for practitioners of all levels. It is relaxing and easy to hold for 1-3 minutes, which is a good time frame for a long, deep stretch that will permanently change your hamstrings' length.

 

While there are many ways to set up this pose, one way is to begin lying on your back, with both knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Stretch your left leg up, catching the foot with a looped belt. Straighten that left knee, pulling the leg up till you feel a moderate stretch in the hamstrings on the back of the thigh. Remember, pain while stretching a muscle is counterproductive, as the muscle will contract to guard itself. Breathe and relax into the stretch, remembering to replace any negative words or images with positives and encouragement. As the intensity of stretch eases, gradually straighten the right leg by sliding the right heel out away from the hip and pressing the right thigh toward the floor. Stretching the right leg out on the floor will renew the stretch sensation in the left leg.

If the backs of your legs are tight and you can't bring your leg to vertical, you will probably notice that it's a lot of work to hold up the weight of the leg. You can easily solve this problem by moving to a doorway, and put your right leg up on the doorjamb and your left leg through the opening. It's much easier to relax, breathe, and repeat a positive message with the weight of the leg supported. If you are the proud owner of tight hamstrings, remember you'll make the best progress if you stretch them most days, and especially after they are warm and tired from exercise.


Whatever pose you're practicing, be sure to watch and listen for any negative images that you can replace with messages of hope and growth. Of course, this lesson learned on the mat can be applied to other parts of our lives as well, once you've learned to be sensitive to your own self-talk.       

 

If you found this yoga tip informative and yearn for more in depth articles about anatomy and yoga written by Julie, click here 

England Summer 2014

I've just returned from teaching in England for a couple of weeks, and May is a spectacular time to be there. The workshops were extra special this year, as they were open only to yoga teachers and teacher trainees: what a privilege to influence the teachers who will go on to share the knowledge with many students.

 

If you'd like to partake of some of the same material, I'll be teaching related workshops later this summer. Our Anatomy Awareness in Asana 5-day workshop covers the body from toes to head here at our Portland, Oregon studio, and I'll be teaching a shoulder-focused workshop in Manchester, England, in September. Do you need a good excuse to visit England in early autumn? Please join me! 

 

Julie Gudmestad
Thoughts from Sally

I have often walked out of a yoga class feeling as though the instructor somehow knew just what I needed to practice that day. Tonight my hamstrings were tight, and all the poses lengthened them back out. One evening I was frazzled and anxious when I began, but found the asanas to be restorative and balancing. As I entered the studio one afternoon I was feeling low, but after 90 minutes of back bending and chest opening, I felt uplifted and energetic.

 

I think the truth is simply that our yoga practice is balancing and makes us feel whole. Yoga is here to support us throughout life- not just when we have the time for it. I've heard people say they just haven't had time for yoga since they changed jobs, gave birth to a child, or lost a loved one. But yoga is flexible! If we find we that we can't make it to our weekly class, or can't practice at home like we used to, that doesn't mean we should just stop. Our yoga practice can meet us wherever we are in life. At times in our lives our practice periods may be shorter, and some poses may be more appropriate than others. Maybe injuries and life events mean that we can no longer practice certain asanas; but there are other poses to focus on!

 

Yoga teaches us how to be present in the moment. That includes recognizing our bodies' needs, not sacrificing them. Our yoga practice should support us, uniting our strengths and weaknesses. Yoga is not just what we do on the mat, but a way of living.

 

Sally Hoesing
Summer is Coming!

It's hard to believe, but summer is nearly here. After all the grey and wet, we are certainly looking forward to the warm sun and now we have a better understanding of how we can keep our bodies happy with some regular supta padangustasana. When you're in town, we know you'll be happy to come to the studio to take drop-in classes, perhaps trying a new teacher, new day or time, and maybe this is the year that you finally decide to do the Anatomy Awareness in Asana workshop with Julie for some in-depth yoga study.    


Hope to see you in class soon!

Janice 

Gudmestad Yoga Studio    3903 SW Kelly Avenue, Suite 210    Portland, OR  97239 

phone: 503 223 8157

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